Breakthrough Research Centre
The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Building.
Breakthrough supports a programme of cutting-edge biological research to reach our vision of ‘a future free from the fear of breast cancer’. Through our research, we will increase our understanding of breast cancer, leading to improvements in diagnosis, treatment, quality of life and prevention of the disease.
Breakthrough set up the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre in 1999, the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Building, which was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales. Today, the King’s College LondonBreakthrough Research Centre houses over 120 scientists and clinicians working together in a multidisciplinary environment.
Building on success
Building on the success of the Breakthrough Research Centre, we have set up three new Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Units, in Edinburgh, King’s College London and Manchester, each with a specific breast cancer focus. The new units will enable us to spread the expertise, influence and multidisciplinary ethos of our research by working with other world class scientists in the UK.
Breakthrough runs the Breakthrough Clinical Researcher Programme, which provides funding for talented clinical researchers. The dual expertise of these unique individuals is vital to bridging the gap between basic science and the clinic.
In addition to the above initiatives, Breakthrough also supports research in areas that are considered to be important to patients, and where it is recognised that greater research is needed. Breakthrough’s Complementary Therapy Research Programme is an example of this and aims to investigate the use of complementary therapies in breast cancer management in order to better inform breast cancer patients about the potential benefits and risks of using these therapies.
At the Breakthrough Research Centre, scientists collaborate on a daily basis to find new answers to breast cancer.
In 2006, Breakthrough Breast Cancer published its Research Strategy (562 kb)
setting out its priorities and plans for the next 5-10 years to address major scientific challenges associated with breast cancer.
Since opening in 1999, the Breakthrough Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research has been the heart of our research portfolio. 120 researchers in 10 scientific teams are now based at the centre, under the directorship of Professor Alan Ashworth. The centre will remain crucial to Breakthrough’s work, and our future research plans aim to build on its success.
As our research portfolio grows, we aim to spend approximately £12m a year on vital research, including building on the success of the Breakthrough Research Centre and the Breakthrough Generations Study, supporting the new Breakthrough Research Units and developing the Breakthrough Clinical Researcher Programme.
The focus of all Breakthrough’s research is to improve our fundamental knowledge of breast molecular cell biology and the genes involved in breast cancer, and to translate these findings rapidly to the clinic for the therapeutic benefit of all breast cancer patients. The Breakthrough Generations Study is the most comprehensive study into the causes of breast cancer ever undertaken, aiming to provide detailed information on the causes of breast cancer and, as a result, give an understanding of how the disease can be prevented.